Google's Anticompetitive Practices Hurt Consumers
Contrary to what Wall Street Journal columnist Gordon Crovitz would have you believe, Google’s pattern of anticompetitive practices harms consumers by curbing innovation and contributing to higher prices for anything sold by companies that have an online presence.
Google doesn’t offer free products – advertisers pay for them, to the tune of Google’s $29.3 billion in 2010 revenue. Those billions get passed on to consumers and business customers in the form of less innovation, higher prices, and less free services and information provided by others online.
Through a pattern of anticompetitive practices, the search giant promotes its own Google Products while pushing other providers, even those who pay for top billing, further down on its page. This forces competitors big and small to pay higher total and per-unit ad rates to Google just to get in front of Internet users’ eyeballs, siphoning away revenue these companies could invest in innovating and providing more free information and services to consumers.
The “Google Tax” is one borne by every American consumer, and it’s extracted in the form of less innovation and fewer jobs created or maintained by companies that are edged out by Google’s illegal use of its dominant position online to forestall competition.
While the coalition appreciates Crovitz’s shout-out to FairSearch.org, it’s important to note that the American Antitrust Institute – not this coalition – was the organization that warned of [in Crovitz’s paraphrase] “Google’s march toward an ‘unregulatable monopoly.’” Agreeing with AAI, a prominent antitrust think tank, does not make FairSearch.org the origin of its opinion.
In place of a long blow-by-blow response to Crovitz’s opinion on this blog, check out the newest addition to the “Key Resources” section of FairSearch.org: “Can Search Discrimination by a Monopolist Violate U.S. Antitrust Laws?”